Reconstructing/revamping shelves 17 year old pond + plants? (newbie)


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You can get a gorgeous waterfall in 2’ off elevation change.
Thanks for the support and confidence. Usually the whole own worst critic thing. Plus I like to shoot for the stars lol.
Thanks to everyone also along the way so far.

Great forum.
 
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For reference, here's a video where the Aquascape guys build a really attractive pondless waterfall with about 12" of elevation change:

 
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While i can agree with part of your statement that there's no set rules to the shelves there are set guide lines tot he shelves in the photo below i did not make the shelves stay at one level and circle around the pond. i made them only cover a small portion of the level and they are different widths heights and even on slight angles. this is what i see as a more natural look . and that is important to me over a formal strand of pearls. per say. And the rocks DO set the shelves more then an idea should You don't want to build a 6 inch wide shelf if you have 12" wide rocks. and you should always keep in mind what is going to hold this rock in place often digging a small trench or angling a shelf back is the best route as when the pond is lined the rocks can be held in place by a depression. so if you place rocks on a shelf are the rocks large enough to poke up higher then the shelf above to as the rocks are placed will they act like a stop a border to keep the gravel in place. this is a video of the final product to help give an idea what the rock on shelves can look like and not a level circle around the pond. the vertical walls i always had pitched back toward the higher side to any boulders could lean back and not want to roll over onto someone in the water. The vide and the photo are taken from the same spot for reference View attachment 142069 .
GBUDD - you are so right about the perfectly level shelves all around not looking as natural. I had never thought of this till you pointed it out! I learn something new in this forum every time I read!!!!!
 
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This is going to be so pretty! Is there a reason you don't want fish? They don't require much of anything and can really help with the whole nitrogen cycle - which makes for healthy plants. Many of us don't even feed our fish, except now and then for fun. I just mention that in case you think they add a lot of work to pond keeping. Either way - this is a really nice looking pond. I can't wait to see it completed!
 
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For reference, here's a video where the Aquascape guys build a really attractive pondless waterfall with about 12" of elevation change:

Makes me second guess the 18” and maybe do only 12’s and have more room.
Or what maybe I’m taking - smaller diameter at top and bigger boulders more on bottom? May be easy to slip a few here there and give myself more room to play.
 
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This is going to be so pretty! Is there a reason you don't want fish? They don't require much of anything and can really help with the whole nitrogen cycle - which makes for healthy plants. Many of us don't even feed our fish, except now and then for fun. I just mention that in case you think they add a lot of work to pond keeping. Either way - this is a really nice looking pond. I can't wait to see it completed!
Always so positive and supportive, I’m hopeful too - probably leads to the anxiety. That and wife of course .
And wife is main topic for fish. She was adamant whole time from purchase of the house no fish. She doesn’t eat fish either. ‍

I’m not against fish myself and could do it, but I’m on a few random FB groups and it’s a constant barrage of sickness/leaks/birds/etc. We had two cats and a dog. One cat passed last year and the other just two weeks ago. The last was diabetic. Dog is on antidepressants for anxiety, fish oil, hip pills. Kids. Wife and I talked of the bittersweet of the last cats passing - sad we lost the cat but glad to be free of the obligation as vacations and medications were always a struggle.

Fish would be another responsibility and undertaking I know I personally have no desire to take on at the current moment as I work full time, back in FT college, coach kids stuff, and have a busy body family always out and about. When things slow in 5-10, im sure we can both revisit and do another reno.
 
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Rained all day but had to tackle the river, most all the rocks out to see what the whole shebang looked like. Bridge isn’t actually secured so I can mess with the whole thing.
If I’m going in, I’m going in. Figure bridge is 17 yrs old also. Not rotten but creaky soft. Plan to rebuild it entirely. Thinking of making the supports longer to extend into the ground 3-4 inches vs laying on top, and 2-3 inches higher to give greater clearance under the bridge.

As I posted before. The liner is nearly flat. The water no doubt was escaping under the bridge how it layed and probably maxed at 1/2”-1” deep (any further seeped out). Want to give more depth - just need to figure out the grading another day. Still slants to main pond it seems, but not sure it raising the sides or digging it a few inches deeper is better.

The river also empties into the main pond not on a falls, just like a river would gently flow in. My mind said “would be cool to have a piece of flag staff for a mini falls into the main pond!” But it would almost have to be under or almost next to the bridge (lower of course) and would probably look abnormal.

But whoever made the small falls into the river atleast made the little erosion splash pool lol.
4223A17A-1032-40F1-84E7-FCCFF635B98F.jpeg
 

brokensword

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Always so positive and supportive, I’m hopeful too - probably leads to the anxiety. That and wife of course .
And wife is main topic for fish. She was adamant whole time from purchase of the house no fish. She doesn’t eat fish either. ‍

I’m not against fish myself and could do it, but I’m on a few random FB groups and it’s a constant barrage of sickness/leaks/birds/etc. We had two cats and a dog. One cat passed last year and the other just two weeks ago. The last was diabetic. Dog is on antidepressants for anxiety, fish oil, hip pills. Kids. Wife and I talked of the bittersweet of the last cats passing - sad we lost the cat but glad to be free of the obligation as vacations and medications were always a struggle.

Fish would be another responsibility and undertaking I know I personally have no desire to take on at the current moment as I work full time, back in FT college, coach kids stuff, and have a busy body family always out and about. When things slow in 5-10, im sure we can both revisit and do another reno.
well, I'm gonna burst this bubble before @addy1 or @j.w gets to ya; if you go with goldfish and lots of plants, you won't have to feed the fish or even worry much about a filter. How's that for carefree? Now, if you want to feed them regularly, then we can advance you up the pond ladder to the BFC (bog filter club) where once past the initial installment, it's ALMOST maintenance free; all you need do is thin plants every so often (like maybe once a year at most).

So, having lost our original 3 cats the past couple of years, I feel your pain but it didn't stop us from finding more furry kids to adopt and make life that much more special. You'll find goldfish are very interesting, colorful, and worry free, especially if you limit the number and don't feed them.

Okay, I'll let the two heavy-weights lend their nodding heads to this when then they get here...
 
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Lots of people put goldfish in their ponds and never think of them again. And they do fine.
This also most likely though requires further thought about the whole system - or atleast being me - I need to read and consider tons. I’m a measure 20x cut 1x type. If I would do it, I wouldn’t just want to punt some fish it and clap my hands lol. Still - possible in 5 or 10
 
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well, I'm gonna burst this bubble before @addy1 or @j.w gets to ya; if you go with goldfish and lots of plants, you won't have to feed the fish or even worry much about a filter. How's that for carefree? Now, if you want to feed them regularly, then we can advance you up the pond ladder to the BFC (bog filter club) where once past the initial installment, it's ALMOST maintenance free; all you need do is thin plants every so often (like maybe once a year at most).

So, having lost our original 3 cats the past couple of years, I feel your pain but it didn't stop us from finding more furry kids to adopt and make life that much more special. You'll find goldfish are very interesting, colorful, and worry free, especially if you limit the number and don't feed them.

Okay, I'll let the two heavy-weights lend their nodding heads to this when then they get here...

We love our pets and dog has insurance coverage so he gets gold star treatment until the end, but we’ve talked about how much we miss out on other parts of life or freedom to be impulsive with travel. We decided against future cats but open to a dog - but not until the kids graduate HS which is 15 away lol.
 
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Just in case your unsure 15 years is pretty much the max for dogs or cats.
And I'll add that I have left my pond for weeks and months with no issues and I have nothing but koi. They graze on the algea and I do have a feeder to give a little something.
 

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And I'll add that I have left my pond for weeks and months with no issues and I have nothing but koi.
yeppers, that was my point; you can have fish and totally leave them alone.
 

brokensword

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Just in case your unsure 15 years is pretty much the max for dogs or cats.
And I'll add that I have left my pond for weeks and months with no issues and I have nothing but koi. They graze on the algea and I do have a feeder to give a little something.
GB; wouldn't the missus throw a bit of food the fishes' way while you're gone?
 
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15 years is pretty much the max for dogs or cats.
Dogs, yes. I've known many cats that made it to 20+. Our family cat made it to 23. They're basically a bag of bones that just complains all the time, but very much "alive."
 
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addy1

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I can leave my pond and the fish, totally alone except pulling excess plant growth from the bog. I hardly ever feed them, they add babies now and then. We are in the flight path of a heron rookery so we do keep a wide net hanging about 2 feet over the pond.

I have only shubunkins which is a form of goldfish.
 
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I will add to the voices saying fish can be as low maintenance as you want them to be. If you consider them part of the ecosystem and not fishy pets, you can let nature do what nature does. My upcoming backyard pond is for the creatures. I fully expect raccoons to visit and probably that stinky (I mean beautiful) heron. :LOL: I can't give these fish names. They will be part of the food chain, no doubt. (But they do seem to have personalities and it is hard to not get a teensy bit attached.) Having said that, I totally get not wanting one more creature to care for and not wanting the burden of another responsibility! I hear you!!!!!! I think if you construct your pond well, you could add a few fish later on down the road, as you said.
 
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Dogs, yes. I've known many cats that made it to 20+. Our family cat made it to 23. They're basically a bag of bones that just complains all the time, but very much "alive."
Cats are like geckos, but a bowl of noodles are twice as long as chickens
 
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